You’ve probably heard how important stretching your limbs is before and after a workout. But what about your feet? These hard workers have the important (and arduous) job of supporting our entire body weight anytime we walk, run, or exercise. Give these unsung heroes what they truly need and stretch your feet and toes frequently, every single day!
Why is Stretching So Important for My Feet?
We’re glad you asked. There are so many benefits you can experience when you take the time to properly stretch and flex your feet and toes! Here’s what you stand to gain from frequent stretching:
- An improved range of motion in your feet and ankles
- Greater flexibility, which may provide additional support
- A reduction in any mild foot pain you may have
- The management (and possible prevention!) of plantar fasciitis
- Increased blood flow to your lower extremities
- Stronger feet and ankles that are less prone to injury
Great, So How Should I Stretch My Feet?
It’s easy! There are a few effective stretches that you can do from the comfort of your couch, while you’re at work, or even when you first wake up in the morning. Try raising your heels up and down while sitting in a chair, pointing and flexing your toes, and spreading your toes as far apart as you’re able! Repeat these exercises a handful of times in a row to experience the benefits.
You can also roll a cylindrical object like a water bottle or foam roller back and forth under your feet. Rolling a tennis or golf ball under your feet with some pressure is also a good way to work your feet! If you want to raise the bar, grab a towel, fold it length-wise, place it between the ball of your foot and heel, and pull with both of your hands for 15 seconds per foot. This will help stretch out your hardworking Achilles tendons!
Experiencing Pain? Here’s What You Should Do It’s important to remember to not overextend your muscles. Start stretching slowly at first – as your body accommodates to the movements, you’ll be able to work your way up. Feeling pain is not the aim here, so if stretching hurts, stop, rest, and reach out to the knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center. We can help treat any kind of heel pain you may be having! Call us at (314) 487-9300 or visit us online at www.facstl.com to set up your appointment with us.